JACK MAYNE EDITORIAL: It’s time for a certain councilmember to fade away…

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Editorial by Jack Mayne

It is time for Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz to take her own political advice and exit stage left so that the Burien City Council can once again become the people’s governing body and not her personal political playpen.

She chose not to seek reelection, apparently deciding to move on to more politically lucrative stages.

But going quietly into the night is not Berkowitz’s way; she had another show to mount.

For over six hours, spread over two consecutive Monday night Burien City Council meetings, Berkowitz called upon her minions and other well-intentioned, along with some genuinely fearful people, to storm city hall to put on a show aimed at what exactly?

Lawyer she is, and Lauren Berkowitz knows that a lawyer who cannot possibly win the case must sow confusion to keep people from realizing she has failed to win.

So she took up over six hours of Burien taxpayers time to put on a show with a sound and fury signifying? Nothing.

In reality, sanctuary does not exist in this context.

While the sanctuary law may or may not remain on the City of Burien’s books, absolutely nothing will change for the undocumented people living in the city. The federal police agencies can arrest anyone with probable cause. If a valid court warrant is available, no sanctuary law here or anywhere is going to protect that person. If ICE or other federal agencies have probable cause, the person can be deported.

The sanctuary ordinance was passed earlier this year at the urging of Berkowitz, joined by two other progressives. The fourth vote and deciding came from Councilmember Steve Armstrong.

A sanctuary city is a city that limits its cooperation with the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration law. Supporters of sanctuary cities argue that enforcement of federal law is not the duty of local police officials.

The King County Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years maintained it would not enforce federal laws on immigration but would defer such enforcement to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

But former candidate for Congress and West Seattle resident Craig Keller decided he did not like the city’s sanctuary law, and he paid people per signature to circulate a petition – with some claiming they were threatened by the circulators.

The petitions came up short at first, but more valid Burien voter signatures were collected and the King County Elections department certified the measure.

The Council had two choices: repeal the sanctuary ordinance, or ask King County Elections to put it on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

So even after the Berkowitz performance extraordinaire the matter will be on the ballot.

So, please leave, Ms. Berkowitz, your help is a drag and it is likely needed elsewhere. Burien has enough problems and does not need you manufacturing more for your own entertainment.

So please go quietly into the sunset…

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26 Responses to “JACK MAYNE EDITORIAL: It’s time for a certain councilmember to fade away…”
  1. Seahurst resident says:

    Great editorial. Not missing a beat.

    All we need to hope for now is that not a Berkowitz 2.0 is voted into the council by November and that the council can focus on the real issues Burien needs to deal with. I have my doubts with Pedro Olguin and Krystal Marx, but these are unfounded.

    • Question Authority says:

      Your doubts are actually correct, those two are Bezerkowitz 2.0 and share the same outside funding, affiliates, philosophy and marching orders to promote causes not associated with running a City damaged by such interference brought by her.

  2. Clean it up! says:

    You state it all so well Mr. Mayne! Well done!

  3. Joey Hopps says:

    I want to know how someone is allowed to write flat out lies, and it be published. Lauren Berkowitz had absolutely nothing to do with the RESIDENTS OF BURIEN (NOT minions) showing up to council meetings to show support for being a Sanctuary City! Why is it so hard to believe that people who live here, work here, own homes & businesses here, support being a Sanctuary City? I have news for you Jack Mayne, even after Lauren has gone ‘quietly into the sunset’, there will still be RESIDENTS OF BURIEN, showing up to the meetings to show our support for things that matter.

    • Diane says:

      90% of the people who have showed up at the last few meetings (and they certainly have not all been Burien RESIDENTS) have only shown up for this socially “sexy” topic.. They will never deign to show up for a meeting that doesn’t have a social justice subject on the agenda. In the world of sports, we call them “fair weather fans”.

    • seahurst relic says:

      It’s an “editorial” Joey….an opinion… they are published everyday, Jack’s just happens to represent the majority according to the “ratings”. Well written Jack, thank you.
      If the “RESIDENTS OF BURIEN” group is so dead set on protecting the rights of the citizens of Burien as a whole, why were they objecting to putting this ordinance on the ballot for Burien as a whole to determine it’s future instead of grandstanding on behalf of Ms. Berkowitz? You go Jack!!

  4. Maenad says:

    It was NEVER about being able or not being able to arrest people who had committed crimes. KCSO has stated time and time again that their policy, and policies like this are not intended to allow people to commit crimes without consequence. Immigration law is the responsibility of Federal agents, just like the FBI doesn’t speed trap 1st AV S (we’ll leave that to the NPK police who have more budget trouble than we do.)
    Like it or not progressive minded people are a large part of this community, we aren’t going anywhere, we aren’t minions of anyone and we are as American as anyone else who lives here. At least Mr Mayne bothered to label this as opinion, unlike the thinly veiled hostile missives he usually scribes about council meetings which masquerade as reporting.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Sorry, but this is terrible! Lauren is doing a great job representing her constintuents as are cm bell and cm tosta – referring to us as minions is disrespectful. I have lived in Burien my entire life! The people who attended the meetings are members of our community either living, working/owning business or have family here! Please understand this “minion” will no longer allow others to be marginalized! Mayor krakoviak is doing a horrible job facilitating meetings and is condescending to her fellow council members and more importantly to her constituents. She picks and chooses how to apply rules at meetings. Often times she, cm Wagner & cm Edgar are quick to criticize their fellow cm. I could go on…This blog is becoming a disappointment!

    • Question Authority says:

      Maybe you should look back at the recording and witness one such “minion” as an example saying she lives in Seattle and has a business in Bellevue. Exactly what does she have at stake in Burien with those locales? The petition may have been spearheaded by an outsider but the issue at hand is based on law and order sea to shining sea, break the law and suffer consequences except when it comes to border jumping – absolute double standard!

      • Jennifer says:

        I attended the meeting so, I am aware of who spoke! Mr. Maybe referring to members of our community as minions is very disrespectful! The majority of people that spoke have connection to our community in some way but, believe what you will.

  6. Phil says:

    The level of selective faultfinding here (dare I say scapegoating?) is stunning.

    But I’ll start with your contention that, if Burien’s sanctuary ordinance is repealed, “absolutely nothing will change for the undocumented people living in the city.” This is not true. Repealing Ordinance 651 would leave it to the discretion of each employee whether to inquire about citizenship and/or religion, and possibly to harass or refuse service to non-citizens or members of certain faiths. If King County’s policies were revoked, the officers contracted to serve the city would likewise be free to interrogate our residents as to their status or beliefs. Now, Burien’s civil servants and officers may have no intention of discriminating in this way, but we are living in highly uncertain times, in which the federal government encourages exactly this sort of suspicion and ostracization within local communities. So for the city to proactively discourage its employees and contractors from going down that path is valuable.

    That said, the author of this editorial apparently believes that the provisions of Ordinance 651 are uncontroversial and unworthy of so many debates and protests. Why, then, does he not criticize Craig Keller, the activist who stirred up all this discussion barely six months after the ordinance was discussed and approved by our lawfully elected representatives? To pin this ugly episode on Councilmember Berkowitz, because she cared enough about the lawfully passed bill to speak against its attack and misrepresentation, is pretty lame.

  7. Captain obvious says:

    What a interesting perspective coming from another west Seattle resident. If I remember correctly. Even though Jack mayne is a reporter for South king media. He doesn’t live in burien or vote in burien elections ether.

    Yes maybe Lauren Berkowitz has made some errors but all politicians make some errors along the way. There people just like everyone else.

    • David Silver says:

      Berkowitz hopefully crawls into a hole somewhere and disappears for many years. That she has a law degree is a disgrace to that profession.

      • Captain obvious says:

        Well David next time you go to move to a new area. You will now know to look at crime rates and look at how the city council is ran. Before deciding on where to live.

        Maybe just maybe you will also have learned not to send life threatening comments to council members. Also remember to check your facts before posting nonsense made up by right wing website’s that spin nonsense into more nonsense just to make a dollar.

        Lots of life lessons here to learn.

        • David Silver says:

          Never sent a life threatening comment to anyone. Did wish that the crime the city council (certain members) are bringing to Burien by their decisions get the violence it brings visited upon them. Still do.

  8. John Justbe says:

    Well, at the very least we figured out what it takes to get Berkowitz to attend a meeting in person. Little good it will do anyone though.

    • Seahurst resident says:

      Yeah, that’s what I figured. You don’t see her for a year and when amok can be made she is back. Not once, but twice in a row.

      On the positive side she is now well known and remembered and her ‘contribution’ to Burien could be either a liability or an asset while seeking a more ambitious office.

  9. chuck rangel says:

    Jack, well written. Getting to the heart of an issue. Burien, we, deserve to have a council that will at least try to work with each other.

  10. Terri Schmidt says:

    I’m wondering where Berkowitz got the money to buy her house?

    She never had a job before she came to Burien.

  11. Captain obvious says:

    I think one of Lauren Berkowitz issue’s was she used social media. Her messages went out into the public where other groups got involved. It’s kinda like back in highschool when someone ones parents went out of town and the kid try’s to invite just a handful of people over. But by the end of the night the house is packed full and the police get called. All because one person told another person witch told another person. But now with social media things get told to groups of people at a time. Which can cause a mob mentality to happen were people don’t think clearly they just act as a group.

    Unfortunately we have a lot people that act this way now of days. That don’t think things through they just act or say something. We also live in a time where people over dramatize things and try to spin things for there own stupidity.

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